3.4 Million Cars Recalled

Toyota, Nissa, Honda and Mazda have issued a recall affected 3.4 Million vehicles. The recall revolves around possible faulty airbags that may cause a fire or inadvertently fire causing personal injuries to the occupants. The large manufacturers rely on smaller companies and manufacturers for their parts.

The recall is the largest ever for airbags made by Takata Corp., the world's second-largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Due to a manufacturing defect in the propellant for the inflator, the airbag for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly. As a result, there is a risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured. The faulty airbags were manufactured between 2000 and 2002 in a Takata factory in Mexico. Read more

 

The recall seems to be centered around cars from 2000-2004. There are reports that there is at least one known instance where the airbag deployed too forcefully. Dealers are likely to handle the required repairs.

Faulty Child Locks Leads to Recall

Ford has recalled certain 2013 models due to a potential failure of their child safety locks. The cars involved are Focus, C-Max, and Escape models. The recall includes 5,675 cars - adults may think they child safety lock is engaged, but due to its faulty manufacturing, a child may still be able to open the car door from inside the vehicle.

In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car maker said the child locks on the left rear door of some vehicles were improperly made. The locks may not engage when drivers or other adults try to activate them. As a result the driver may think the child lock is engaged when it is not. Read more

 

Numerous Recalls - Jan 31

The end of January not only brought the first month of 2013 to a close but also meant numerous recalls being announced by the CPSC.

Triaminic and Theraflu products were recalled due their lack of child resistant packaging.

These child-resistant caps can fail to function properly and enable the cap to be removed by a child with the tamper-evident seal in place, posing a risk of unintentional ingestion and poisoning.

 

Megafood Daily One Supplements manufactured by FoodState also was recalled due to lack of child resistant packaging.

The packaging is not child-resistant as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

Nanospheres Magnetic Desk Toys made by Kringles Toys and Gifts, and Magnet Balls Manipulative Magnet Sets made by SCS Direct and both sold exclusively by Amazon.com, was recalled due to the hazard magnet indigestion poses for children. If two or more magnets are ingested they can link together causing severe damage or perforation to the intestines.

World Imports issued a recall to their bunks beds due to a safety violation.

The openings between the metal rails of the end structures are greater than allowed in the standard and pose a risk of entrapment or asphyxiation hazard.

The recall of the beds extended to approximately 8,600 units.

To see all recent recalls visit the CPSC website.

 

CPSC Sues Star Networks

The CPSC filed a complaint against Star Networks USA out of Fairfield, NJ. The CPSC alleged that Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes are defectively designed and the packaging pose a danger to the public.

High-powered magnets are a safety risk to children - toddler through teen. An increasing number of incidents reported to CPSC indicate that children are swallowing these magnets and the injuries are serious.

When two or more magnets are swallowed, they attract to each other internally. Many incidents have resulted in surgeries to remove the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it also can require repairing the child's damaged stomach and intestines.

If you suspect magnets have been swallowed:

Seek immediate medical attention
Medical symptoms to watch for are: abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
In X-rays, multiple magnetic pieces may appear as a single object.
 

 

The CPSC states that Star Networks failed to issue a recall.

In response to a request from CPSC staff in July 2012, 11 firms, including Star Networks, voluntarily agreed to stop selling similar products. CPSC staff called upon these firms to cease the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of high-powered, manipulative magnetic products after young children and teenagers swallowed multiple magnets, which connected inside their gastrointestinal tracts and caused internal injuries requiring surgery.

Star Networks chose not to comply with the voluntary recall and resumed sale of the products in November.


Trampolines and Safety Concerns issued by AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics are saying that trampolines are too dangerous for children to use. They have issued a warning against them after nearly 100,000 injuries occurred in 2009.

But even when safety precautions are taken, trampolines can still be dangerous, said Dr. Michele LaBotz, a lead author of the new AAP statement and a sports medicine physician at Intermed Sports Medicine in Portland, Me.

And attempts by the trampoline industry to make things safer, like the addition of nets, don’t seem to have made much difference, LaBotz said. They do, however, tend to lull parents into a false sense of security.

 

National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data has indicated that smaller/younger children are at a greater risk for serious injury especially when jumping alongside others.

Among the most common injuries in all age groups, include sprains, strains and contusions. Falls from the trampoline accounted for 37 to 39 percent of all injuries and can be potentially catastrophic, the authors reported. (read more)

The trampoline industry maintains that since the addition of the safety net, the number of injuries has been on the decline.

Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc, a trampoline manufacturer in San Jose, California, scoffed at the AAP's recommendations.

He said he invented a safety net that encircles the trampoline and cuts the number of injuries by half.

For parents who are unwilling to stop their kids from using trampolines, the AAP offers a number of tips to make the activity safer.

 

 

 

Those steps include checking that your insurance policy covers trampoline-related claims; using the mat one at a time, having effective padding around springs and frame, placing the trampoline on level ground, avoiding somersaults and flips and actively supervising kids. (read more)

 

Safety precautions will be paramount while using a backyard trampoline.

 

 

 

 

Death Prompts Recall

Peg Perego is recalling 223,000 strollers due to a risk of strangulation. The recall follows the death of a 6 month old boy from California whose head became entrapped between the seat and the tray. A 7 month old girl from NY also became entrapped when her head was stuck between the seat and the tray in 2006.

The strollers involved are older.

 

The recall involves two different older versions of the Peg Perego strollers, Venezia and Pliko-P3, manufactured between January 2004 and September 2007, in a variety of colors. They were manufactured prior to the existence of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller's tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings that prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

Only strollers that have a child tray with one cup holder are part of this recall. Strollers with a bumper bar in front of the child or a tray with two cup holders are not included in this recall.
 

To read the entire notice from the CPSC click here.

Kolcraft has also announced a recall of approximately 5600 strollers after receiving reports of the front wheel assembly breaking which can pose a fall hazard. To read the notice click here.

The front wheel assembly can break, posing a fall hazard to the child in the stroller. In addition, for strollers manufactured in January and February 2012, the nuts that hold the stroller's basket support screws in place can detach. Detached nuts can pose a choking hazard to young children.

The recall involves the Contours Options LT Tandem strollers with model number ZT012.

 

Pool Slide Recall

It's warmer, the days are longer and that means more pool time. Recently, the CPSC  recalled 21,000 Banzai in-ground pool water slides following on death and two others reported severe injuries.

The CPSC determined that the slides were defective and could deflate suddenly, allowing the user to crash to the ground. The commission also found that the slide is unstable and can topple over in both still and windy conditions.

 

These slides have been sold at Toya R Us and Walmart.

The CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using the product and bring it to the nearest Toys R Us or Wal-Mart for a refund. Consumers don’t need to bring the entire pool. They can just cut out the two safety warning notices out of the slide and return those for a refund.

Read the entire article here.

To read the CPSC notice please click here.

Safety Recalls - Who initiates them?

The number one killer of Americans under the age of 34 is injuries suffered from car crashes. Some of these crashes are the result of a defect or a safety standard missing in the automobile they are driving or riding in. The Department of  Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the organization which issues safety standards and also requires manufacturers to recall defective products such as cars, car seats, tires, etc. They also can issue a recall for those products that not meet the safety standards as set forth.

So when is a recall required? When the vehicle or other product does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or when there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment. Some examples are:

-Steering components that break suddenly causing partial or complete loss of vehicle control.
-Problems with fuel system components, particularly in their susceptibility to crash damage, that result in leakage of fuel and possibly cause vehicle fires.
-Accelerator controls that may break or stick.
-Wheels that crack or break, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
- Engine cooling fan blades that break unexpectedly causing injury to persons working on a vehicle.
-Windshield wiper assemblies that fail to operate properly.
-Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use.
- Critical vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing potential loss of vehicle control or injury to persons inside or outside the vehicle.
-Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting.
-Car ramps or jacks that may collapse and cause injury to someone working on a vehicle.
-Air bags that deploy under conditions for which they are not intended to deploy.
-Child safety seats that contain defective safety belts, buckles, or components that create a risk of injury, not only in a vehicle crash but also in non-operational safety of a motor vehicle.
 

For more information on the investigative and recall process or to download NHTSA's booklet on recalls go here. If you believe you have a safety related defect and would like to report it to NHTSA the hotline is 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9393 or you can go online to www.safecar.gov.

To read more on FMVSS go here.

 

Toyo Tire Recall

A safety recall was initiated yesterday involving Toyo Tire produced from Sept 2009 through November 6, 2010. A kink may develop in the bead area potentially resulting in the loss of control of the vehicle posing a large crash risk. Read the NHTSA bulletin here.

Britax Issues Recall

NHTSA announced that Britax is recalling certain Chaperone car seats produced from September 2010 through April 2011. It has been reported that the harness may detach from the shell of the car seat exposing to the child to injury or death should a vehicle crash occur. The distribution of safety kits and the institution of the recall is scheduled to begin February 6, 2012 according to the NHTSA release.

Bicycle Helmets Recalled

The CPSC announced announced Triple Eight Distribution out of NY was recalling approximately 30,400 bicycle helmets because they did not meet CPSC standards for impact resistance. The standards may be found in 16 CFR Part 1203.

 

 

The recalled items are multi-purpose helmets also sold for use as bicycle helmets. Little Tricky helmets are marketed for children and youth, and feature a large Little Tricky logo on both sides of the helmet. They come in one size and in black, white, pink and green. Triple Eight S/M EPS Liner helmets feature a hard black inner EPS foam liner and come in black, white, bone, blue and army green. Sector 9 S/M EPS Liner helmets feature the same EPS liner and come in gray, white, black, blue and green. Both the Triple Eight and Sector 9 helmets have an interior label indicating the size “S/M” for small/medium and a manufacture date indicated as month/year (ex. APR/2011). Only Triple Eight and Sector 9 size “S/M” EPS Liner helmets are affected.

In 2009 630 bicyclists died on the roadways as published by NHTSA. This represents 2 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Nissan Recall Issued

NHTSA announced that Nissan has issued a recall of certain 2010-2011 Nissan Sentras. According to the release, those vehicles equipped with MR20 engines, "manufactured between May 11, 2010 to May 25, 2010 and July 8, 2010 until October 25, 2010"  are affected. During this time period, a zinc coating  applied to a certain bolt was done so improperly and not to specification thus leading to a possible engine stall or possible damage done to the engine control module. This  poses a crash threat. Read More from  NHTSA

Kiddieland Recall Disney-Branded Trikes

Kiddieland Toys Limited has issued a recall of approximately 12,000 Disney Fairies Plastic Racing Trikes. The plastic figurines protrude from the handle bars presenting a danger to children if they were to fall on them.

This recall involves the Disney-branded Fairies Plastic Racing Trike. The trike is green and purple with a white seat and yellow wheels. On top of the handlebar, there is a Tinkerbell figure and three other rotating fairy figures. "Disney Fairies" is printed on the label in front of the trike just below the handlebar. More

 

NHTSA reissues 15 Passenger Van Warning

NHTSA has reissued its warning of 15 passenger vans. The agency has warned against using tires that are old and to ensure that the tires are properly inflated for such a vehicle.

For this reason, NHTSA recommends that spare tires not be used as replacements for worn tires. In fact, many tire manufacturers recommend that tires older than 10 years not be used at all.

 

NHTSA also restates that 15 passenger vans should not be used for school aged children.

Pre-primary, primary and secondary schools should not use 15-passenger vans for transporting school children, as they do not provide the same level of safety as school buses. It is also against federal law for schools to buy new 15-passenger vans for school transportation purposes.

More safety tips can be found here.

The Law Office of D. Hardison Wood has been involved with litigation of 15 passenger vehicles in the past due. Representing those injured due to negligent design and defects. If you or someone you love has been involved in a 15 passenger rollover or crash and has suffered injuries, protect your legal rights, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520 so we may discuss your matter.

 

Deaths due to tip overs

According to a new report by the CPSC, a child is killed every two weeks due to an injury sustained when a heavy piece of furniture tips over onto them.

Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home. Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to inspect and anchor furniture and TVs now, in order to protect young children from a preventable tragedy.

 

Between the years 2000 and 2010, the CPSC received more than 245 death reports as they were related to tip overs of children aged 8 and younger. Commonly, tip overs involve toddlers as they tend to be more likely to climb on furniture.  The CPSC urges parents and other caregivers to: anchor furniture to the wall or floor, place tv's on low bases or alternatively anchor those as well, and keep cords out of the reach of children. To read the posting from the CPSC click here.

The Law Office of D. Hardison Wood focuses much of its time representing children who have been injured by the negligence of another. If your child has been hurt, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today at 919.233.0520.

Mandatory Standard for Toddler Beds Approved

The CPSC unanimously approved new safety standards for toddler beds.

The new federal standard requires the following:

* The upper edge of the guardrail must be at least five inches above the toddler bed's mattress.
* Spindle/slat strength testing for toddler beds must be consistent with the testing required for crib spindles/slats.
* Separate warning labels to address entrapment and strangulation hazards must appear on toddler beds.
 

From 2005 to 2010 the CPSC has been made aware of 122 incidents from toddler beds of which 4 were deaths and 43 injuries.

 

The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 mandated that the commission put into place safety standards for toddler beds.

To read more click here.

If you or your child has suffered personal injuries from a product failure or due to the negligence of another contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520 today so we may discuss your legal rights.

Police warn of defect in gun

This past week a little boy in Raleigh was accidentally shot by a pellet gun. The child's grandfather was checking to ensure the safety was on, and by accident hit the trigger. The pellet apparently went the the child's eye and lodged in his brain. He died from his injuries. Following his death the Raleigh Police are warning about a defect in the gun.

The boy's grandfather, Daniel Henry, was shooting at squirrels outside and placed his pellet gun at the foot of the stairs when he came back inside, the family said. As Ty-Rion was coming downstairs, Henry checked to make sure the gun's safety latch was on, and he accidentally hit the trigger, shooting the boy.
Lt. Andy Murr of the Raleigh Police Department said the safety on the pellet gun is immediately in front of the trigger. Several manufacturers have a similar design, Murr said, and police want to make the public aware of the issue. Other guns have safety latches in different places, he said. (Read the story here)

 

It seems very dangerous to place the safety in such close proximity to the trigger. It would appear that there are safer alternative designs, especially if other guns have their safety latches placed elsewhere.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury due to a product defect contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520. Let's discuss your legal options.

Child Seat Recall

Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) has announce a recall of child restraint systems including infant, convertible and booster. They were sold as stand alones as well as part of a travel system. Those affected by the recall appear to be manufactured between May 1, 2008 and April 30, 2009. The harness locking does not always return to a locked position leaving the child vulnerable to serious injury in the event of a car crash. To read the entire notice and the model numbers click here.

Preventable Harms to Patients "Common" in NC Hospitals

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a six-year, 10 hospital study conducted in North Carolina between 2002 and 2007.  The report can be found online for free here.  The study's authors included Dr. Christopher Landrigan, Dr. Gareth Parry, Catherine Bones, Andrew Hackbarth, Dr. Donald Goldmann, and Dr. Paul Sharek.

The study randomly selected 10 hospitals in NC to participate.  In those hospitals, researchers randomly pulled 10 patient admissions to the hospital for each quarter from 2002 to 2007.  Those records were then reviewed utilizing a "trigger tool" which allows researchers to quickly locate adverse events.  Those adverse events were then scrutinized to determine whether the harms were preventable or not preventable.

The authors of the study conclude:

In a statewide study of 10 North Carolina hospitals, we found that harm resulting from medical care was common, with little evidence that the rate of harm had decreased substantially over a 6-year period ending in December 2007.

That embarrassing conclusion was all the more a cause of concern for patient safety advocates since the authors of the report selected North Carolina hospitals for their "high level of engagement in efforts to improve patient safety."  Clearly, North Carolina hospitals have a long way to go before they live up to their reputation. 

Breakdown of the data and an interesting though experiment on the flip.

The study results indicate that out of 2341 randomly selected patient admissions (2400 planned reviews, appears that 2341 reviews were completed), fully 1 out every 4 resulted in harm to the patient or was considered an "adverse event" by the trigger tool used.  Of these 588 "harms" (as the study calls them) 63.1% were "preventable."  When one considers that over 40% of these harms ended up requiring prolonged hospitalization, the resulting cost of preventable errors in hospital admissions according to this study would be quite high.

Though the cost is not considered, we can use some back of the envelope calculations to both extrapolate an estimated cost, as well as compare it to the opportunity costs and societal harms resulting from preventable errors in North Carolina hospitals.

In a 1997 study, published by the NC DHHS, there were approximately 750,000 resident patient discharges in North Carolina hospitals and short-stay medical centers throughout the state.  The study is available here (.pdf) and is authored by K. Jones-Vessey.  Importantly, this study excludes all delivery and newborn baby discharge information.  I found the '97 birth rate records through the NC Vital Statistics VOL. 1-1997, which is published by the Epidemiology Division of NC DHHS, a scanned copy available online here.  According to the summary table on that publication (page 35 of the pdf), the number of live births in NC for 1997 was approximately 106,000.  To keep this exercise simple, lets just say 100,000.

We won't adjust for any population trends, but clearly since '97, NC's population has swelled.  So we know these are low figures.  850,000 hospitalizations then, is the number we'll use.

From the NEJM study, we know that roughly 1 in 4 of this results in a harm or "adverse event" according to the trigger tool they used (importantly, the study's authors say that this particular tool was highly reliable).  So 25% of the 850,000 hospitalizations, or 212,500 resident patient admissions end in harm to the patient.  Again, this is based on 1997 numbers, we know for a fact that the number in today's terms would be higher.

Applying the NEJM rate of 63% to calculate the number of preventable harms, we see that it yields approximately 133,875 preventable harms at NC hospitals.  Of these, a little more than 40% (or in real terms, 53,000) are going to result in prolonged hospitalization.

Mortality rates were not disclosed, but let's assume its 1%, for the sake of argument.  That would translate into 535 preventable deaths in NC hospitals based on 1997 data.  So we know the number today would be higher still.  Given the NEJM's sober judgments in this study, I think we can safely say that 1% mortality is unrealistically low.  But even if not, even if only 1 out of 100 preventable errors in NC hospitals results in death, that's an astonishingly high real number.

To get a good feel for that, remember that the government of Chile spent approximately $1M per miner (and probably more) in their rescue of the Chilean miners.  Chile has a GDP that equates to about 1/3 that of the United States.  In essence, they put a value on human life of around $1M in Chilean terms.  In American terms, that would be $3M per person.  If we accept that number, and multiply it by the postulated 535 preventable deaths, that's a social cost of around $1.6B.  If true, that would be a staggering amount of economic drain from NC's already strained economy.

Again, this is "back of the envelope" type stuff.  And, to be fair, we are not looking at the number of positive outcomes, and the lives that were saved, in order to properly address the true cost to NC.  But let's remember, in 2008, 438 medical malpractice cases were filed in NC.  And over the last ten years, patients in NC have only won 51 verdicts.  Doctors win over 75% of the time.  A good article describing this data can be found at Raleigh's News and Observer here.  The average payout over 10 years for plaintiffs has been approximately $316,000.

Clearly, the "drain" here is not to be found in medical malpractice lawsuits.  There are so few of them, and the numbers are so low, that changing them fundamentally one way or the other is the equivalent of a drop in the bucket, if that.

Instead, as this NEJM study makes painfully apparent, the real place to focus both our cost-cutting minds and our quality control efforts, is in the delivery of medicine at North Carolina's hospitals.  There is definitely a lot of room for improvement there.

 

Toy Safety Report

As the holidays approach a new report, as published by the CPSC, states toy recalls are declining however toy injuries are on the increase.

While recalls and deaths have declined, new statistics from CPSC released today show that toy-related injuries are increasing. In 2009, there were an estimated 186,000 emergency room-treated injuries related to toys with children younger than 15, which is up from 152,000 injuries in 2005. Frequently these injuries involved lacerations, contusions, and abrasions that most often occurred to a child’s face and head. Importantly many of the incidents were associated with, but not necessarily caused by, a toy.

 

Children receive personal injuries from many different sources, it is not just limited to toys. However, a new focus has been placed on toys with hundreds of catalogs arriving in the mail and parents starting to do their holiday shopping, the CPSC has published a few safety tips in an effort to try to limit the child injuries. Some of those include:

-Choosing age appropriate toys.

-Wear safety gear

- Be aware of the child's surroundings i.e. don't play near pools, open roads, near corded blinds, etc.

Here are some additional safety steps that consumers can take while shopping this holiday season:

* Scooters and other Riding Toys – Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.

* Small Balls and other Toys with Small Parts – For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.

* Balloons - Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons at once.

* Magnets – For children under age six, avoid building or play sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur. Read the full notice

If your child has suffered a personal injury in Cary, Raleigh, Durham or elsewhere in North Carolina, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520 today!

Drop Side Cribs Recalled

The CPSC issued three separate announcements regarding drop side crib recalls. Those that have been recalled include approximately 3,250 Ethan Allen cribs, 3,400 Angel Line cribs, and 34,000 Victory Land cribs sold exclusively at Kmart. They have been recalled due to strangulation and entrapment worries.


The notice for the Ethan Allen cribs said the following:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail hardware can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop side rail to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents can also occur due to incorrect assembly and with age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: Ethan Allen has received five reports of incidents involving the crib’s drop-side detaching, resulting in bumps and bruises to three children. One child became entrapped and two children fell out of the crib after the drop side detached, one child received a pinched hand and one child received an unspecified injury.

 

The notice for the Angel Line products reported:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail hardware can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side rail to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents also can occur due to age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC is aware of one incident in which the crib’s drop side detached. No injuries have been reported.

The notice about the Kmart exclusive drop side cribs states:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents can also occur due to age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and Victory Land Group have received 17 reports of incidents involving drop-side rail detachments from the cribs. Three infants received bruises and abrasions to the neck, back and legs after becoming entrapped when the drop-side detached.

The notices for all three recalls may be found on the CPSC website.

If your child has suffered an injury from a product defect, car accident, day care related injury or any other personal injury, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.
 

New Booster Seat Ratings Released

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released new report on booster seats. This report is NOT based on crash tests, but rather on the positioning of the belt.

The Institute doesn't conduct vehicle crash tests to evaluate boosters because boosters don't do the restraining in a crash. It's the fit of the belt that's important.

According to the findings, 8 booster seats are not recommended at all. While this number is down from the findings last year - 36 were found to be in the middle.

Even though poor performers make up a smaller percentage of boosters evaluated this year, 36 fall in the middle because they don't consistently fit belts well on most kids in most cars, minivans, and SUVs. Most of these are backless boosters with good lap belt scores but not good shoulder belt scores.

 

NHTSA only ranks booster seats on how easy they are to use. Further, crash tests do not measure the fit on the child. With each child's height and weight variance it can be difficult ot find the booster seat that has the correct fit for your child.

Belts do the main job of keeping kids in boosters safe in crashes, but belts along with vehicle seats are designed for adults, not children, so it's important for boosters to lift kids into position for lap/shoulder belts to provide proper restraint. Children 4-8 who ride in boosters are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than children restrained by belts alone. (read the article)

A a side note NHTSA reminds the public of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25).

During our 2010 CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY (CPS) WEEK, parents and caregivers are urged to verify that their child safety seats are properly installed and correctly used. Read more

If your child has suffered injuries due to negligence of another, please contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood. 1-877-NCLAW-411. (1-877-625-2941)

 

Nap Nanny Recalled

Baby Matters, the company that makes the Nap Nanny has issued a recall after a 4 month old child reportedly suffocated to death. Initial reports indicate the little girl, while harnessed was found hanging over the side of the product where she became entrapped between it and her crib.

CPSC is investigating a report of a 4-month-old girl from Royal Oak, Mich., who died in a Nap Nanny that was being used in a crib. According to preliminary reports, the girl was in her harness and found hanging over the side of the product. She got caught between the Nap Nanny and the side of the crib.

CPSC and Baby Matters, the company that makes Nap Nanny, have received 22 reports of infants, primarily younger than 5-months-old, hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny despite most of the infants being placed in the product’s harness.

 

Some recommendations as listed in the recall notice:

* If you own the second-generation model, fasten the harness correctly, using the rings attached to the foam, and make sure the harness is snugly fastened.
* Always place all models of the Nap Nanny on the floor, away from other products. Even while harnessed, babies can lean over the side of the Nap Nanny. Do not put it inside a crib, bassinet or play yard, where a baby can get trapped and suffocate. Do not place it on your bed or near pillows and other bedding, another suffocation hazard.
* Do not place any Nap Nanny model on a table or other high surfaces from which a baby could fall.
 

If your child has suffered an injury due to a faulty product and you would like to discuss it with our firm contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.

Window Warning form CPSC

A few weeks ago, the CPSC published a release warning parents about opening their windows during this time of beautiful weather. Though it is quite tempting to leave the windows open, it can prove to be a serious safety hazard to children. Children can fall out of an open window by pushing up against the screen or climbing on furniture near the window. These accidents can be prevented by simple parent supervision or by installing window guards.

Children can face serious injuries from these accidents. On average, approximately 3300 children five and under are treated in the emergency room and an estimated eight deaths occur per year from children falling from a window. Injuries are more common around this time of the year due to the weather outside, so it is especially important to be careful during the spring and summer months.
Here are some safety tips from the CPSC to help prevent window fall injuries:
• Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops. 
         Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. (For windows on the   6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.) 
         Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
• Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
• Whenever possible, open windows from the top -- not the bottom.
• Keep furniture away from windows, to discourage children from climbing near windows.
• Some jurisdictions require landlords to install guards. Check your local regulations.


If your child has been injured due to another’s negligence, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 1-877-829-7211.
 

ATV Riding Season

The CPSC recently published a release for the Memorial Day weekend warning ATV riders to take precaution this riding season. According to the CPSC ATV-related deaths jump on average 30 % from March to April for children under the age of 16. From the period of 2003-2005, ATV related deaths rose each month during the spring and into the summer, peaking in July, when 23 children and 76 adults were killed in ATV related incidents on average.

Earlier this year the CPSC published the 2008 Annual Report of ATV-Related deaths & Injuries. The reports findings showed that in 2008, 28% of the 135,100 estimated ATV related emergency department-treated injuries, involved children 16 years of age or younger. That’s over 37,000 children. Statistical data calculated by state showed North Carolina ranking 9th (tied with Michigan) in most number of ATV-related deaths reported from 1982-2005. If you or someone you know has had an ATV-related personal injury contact our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal rights.
 

“If springtime deaths and injuries are an indication of what’s to come, we urge all ATV riders, young and old, to take all necessary safety precautions,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Far too many people are losing their lives and sustaining life-threatening injuries, which in many cases are preventable. CPSC is working diligently to ensure that the ATVs on the market meet mandatory standards and to promote safe riding practices.”

Starting in April 2009 it became mandatory for ATV manufacturers and distributors to offer free, hands-on training through their dealers for first time buyers and their age appropriate family members within a reasonable time for purchase. Also as part of the CPSC’s action plan, these companies are required to offer first-time purchasers an incentive valued at $100 for taking the hands-on training offered by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). ASI offers a variety of training programs for riders of all levels, for more information go to www.atvsafety.org.

With 4th of July just around the corner and another summer holiday weekend approaching we would like to provide you with some guidelines and information to make your riding season and that of your children safer.


The ATV Safety Institute's Golden Rules:
1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
2. Never ride on public roads - another vehicle could hit you.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
8. Take an ATV RiderCourse
Letter from ATV Safety to North Carolina Parents

NC State Laws on ATV Riding:
• No one under age 8 may operate an ATV.
• Children under age 12 may only operate an ATV under 70cc.
• Children under age 16 may only operate an ATV 90cc or less.
• Children under age 16 must be supervised by a person at least age 18.
• Passengers may not be carried unless the ATV was designed to carry passengers.
• All ATV operators must wear helmet and eye protection.
• ATV use on public streets and highways is prohibited except to cross.
• No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.
• Effective October 1, 2006, every ATV operator born on or after January 1, 1990, must have an ATV safety certificate.
• Persons using ATVs for farming, hunting or trapping are exempt from the law’s provisions.

North Carolina State Legislation on ATV


 

This Week is the 2010 National Tire Safety Week

What better time to discuss tire related issues then during the 2010 National Tire Safety Week going on this week from June 6th – June 12th by the Rubber Manufacturing Association.

The leading cause of tire failure is improper inflation, especially under-inflation. Tires that are under inflated experience excessive flexing which generates excessive heat and causes the tire to expand. This build of pressure can cause a tire blowout, where the tire rapidly comes apart.

On May 20th 2010 Volvo sent out a recall notice to owners of Volvo’s 2008-2010 XC70 vehicles bringing to their attention the vehicle’s failure to imply with requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110, “Tire Selection & Rims”.

The letter describes how the maximum inflation tire pressure is listed incorrectly on the Tire & Loading labels as 33psi, in the Owner’s Manual as 35psi and the Tire Pressure Monitoring system’s trigger level as 33psi. The correct maximum permissible inflation should be 36psi. 

At first glance, the difference may seem slight, but it can lead to the under-inflation of the tires, resulting in premature tire failure, increasing the risk of tire blowouts and of crashes leading to vehicle damage, serious injury or death. Our firm’s North Carolina Crashworthiness Attorneys have handled many similar tire blowout cases. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a tire blowout, please contact the products liability attorneys with the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood to discuss your legal rights.Tire defects such as tread separation are another common cause of tire blowouts. Tread separation is when the tread peels off and separates from the tire casing due to a design or manufacturing defect. Tire blowout can lead to drivers losing control of their car and more often than not cause rollover.

Tire defects such as tread separation  are another common cause of tire blowouts. Tread separation occurs when the tread peels off and separates from the tire casing due to a design or manufacturing defect. Tire blowout can lead to drivers losing control of their car and more often than not cause rollovers. Rollovers can result in serious injury or death due to occupant ejection, roof crush, or other structural damage. Our firm’s products liability attorneys have handled many rollover cases, and in most of those cases, tread separations were a leading cause of the loss of driver control. If you’ve been affected by a car or SUV rollover, please feel free to contact  the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood to discuss your legal rights. Our SUV rollover attorneys will discuss your case at no charge.

A prime example of tire separation defect is the massive Bridgestone/Firestone recall of 3.85 million Radial ATX and Radial ATX II Tires and 2.7 million Wilderness AT Tires in 2000. Most of the tires were original equipment on Ford’s Explorer model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that by Sept 2001  271 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries resulted from these defects.


Tire Maintenance

By following basic tire and vehicle maintenance, drivers can eliminate preventable vehicle accidents. Here are a few of the guidelines listed in the NHSTA’s “Tire Safety – Everything Rides On It” Brochure:

• Maintain proper tire pressure: Find your vehicle’s certification label permanently attached to the vehicle’s door edge, door post, glove-box door, or inside of the trunk lid. The Label indicates the recommended tire size, tire inflation pressure, vehicle capacity weight and front & rear gross axle weight ratings.

• Tire Tread: The tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent your vehicle from slipping or sliding, especially when the road is wet or icy. In general, tires are not safe and should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. Tires have built-in treadwear indicators that let you know when it is time to replace your tires. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear "even" with the outside of the tread, it is time to replace your tires.

• Tire Balance & Wheel Alignment: Although a qualified technician is required checking the tire balance and wheel alignment is a must to prevent vibration and shaking as well as to ensure the wheels are positioned correctly relative to the vehicle’s frame.

• Rotating Tires: Rotating tires from front to back and from side to side can reduce irregular wear (for vehicles that have tires that are all the same size). Look in your owner's manual for information on how frequently the tires on your vehicle should be rotated and the best pattern for rotation.

Click here for the complete the NHTSA’s Tire Safety brochure.


If you have any questions regarding your legal rights in regarding injury caused by tire blowouts or other vehicle defects please contact us the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood - 1-877-829-7211.
 

Trampoline Dangers

Now that spring has sprung and we find ourselves outdoors more, one very popular activity is "jumping on a trampoline". While it is fun, it can be very dangerous.

In 2009, an estimated 98,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries. Eight-two percent of the injured were children under age 15.

"I call them quad machines," trampoline safety expert Marc Rabinoff said of trampolines. "It can turn you into a quadriplegic in four seconds."

While there are warnings with regard to trampolines, such as only one person at a time and children under 6 should not be allowed to jump, some insurance companies will no longer cover trampoline incidents.

Insurance companies call trampolines an "attractive nuisance" and recommend that homeowners fence their yards if they have one.

Some insurance companies do not cover trampolines. That means that in the case of an accident or injury, the homeowner could be liable to pay for it.

Read the full story

If you or your child has suffered a personal injury please contact us at 1-877-829-7211 or email us at contact@hardisonwood.com

 

Flammable Fabrics - Still a Danger?

Throughout a typical day, the fears and worries a parent must encounter can become innumerable. Once the kids have been settled into bed for the night, parents should be able to have some sense of relief that their children are sleeping safely and soundly in their beds. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes the very fabrics our children are sleeping in have the potential to endanger their lives.

In the 1970s, and prior, the number of children dying from their pajamas catching on fire was a major problem. Legislation was then passed to make fire standards mandatory for children’s sleepwear. These standards are supposed to keep flammable sleepwear for children off the market. However, there are still cases that slip through from time to time, such as the recent recall of about 7,000 pajamas from Little Miss Matched Girls Pajama Sets in December of last year.

 

How do I know if my child’s pajamas are safe?

The most important thing is to check the label on your child’s pajamas. If the label says “Flammable”, “Inflammable”, or “Combustible”, the garment will burn quickly and easily. If the label says “Non-flammable”, “Non-combustible”, or “Fireproof”, the garment will not burn. If the label says “Fire resistant”, “Fire retardant”, “Flame resistant”, or “Flame retardant”, the garment will be slow to ignite, slow to burn, and may even extinguish itself if the source of heat is removed. Loose fitting pajamas will catch fire more easily than ones that have a more snug fit. Also be sure to read the care label on your child’s pajamas. Some detergents and fabric softeners can cause build-up on the fabric, decreasing the level of fire resistance the garment was originally made with. Always follow care instructions carefully.

What should I do if my child’s clothes catch on fire?

Take action immediately. Wasted seconds can add significantly to the level of injury sustained by fire. Tell your child to STOP, DROP and ROLL. Most children have learned this method in school. Its always a good idea to practice it at home as well, as soon as your child is old enough to understand what it means. If your child is too young to roll on his or her own, use a wool blanket or coat to cover your child and smother the fire out. Remove your child’s clothing, except in places where it may be stuck to the skin. If you are inside a burning building, be sure to get everyone out immediately. Then call 911.

For more information on fabric flammability, and facts that could keep your family safe, please visit this website.

At the law offices of D. Hardison Wood, we are committed to protecting and fighting for the safety and legal rights of children. If your child has suffered injury as a result of unsafe, flammable pajamas or other fabrics, please contact our office at your earliest convenience, as you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Contact us today at 1-877-829-7211.
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Exercise Equipment and Children

For any child, exercise equipment looks like fun. While an adult may dread the sight of a treadmill, to a child, it’s a playground. It is only when tragic accidents happen that we begin to pay more attention to hazards that may otherwise remain unnoticed in the home.

The heartbreaking death of Mike Tyson’s daughter is just one example of the risks that exercise machines pose. Just last year, four-year-old Exodus was found by her older brother, hanging by a cord on a treadmill in the Tyson home. She died at the hospital the next day.

The truth is, accidents like that of Mike Tyson’s daughter are not uncommon. An estimated 25,000 children are injured on exercise equipment each year. Some of the most common injuries are contusions, amputations, fractures and friction burns, some of which have required skin grafting and plastic surgery to repair. However, children are not the only ones subject to injury when it comes to exercise equipment. These machines can be dangerous, not only because of a child’s curiosity, but also because of defective parts and poor manufacturing. Many times these dangers remain unseen until an accident occurs.
 

How Can I Keep My Child Safe?

There’s no need to throw your treadmill out with the trash. There are many things you can do to keep your exercise equipment in the home, and keep your children safe at the same time.

- Have a room or an area in your home that is specifically used for exercise equipment. Make this area off limits for your children. Lock the door to the exercise room when you are not using it. Some have even purchased a child fence to put around their exercise area. This will work for small children, but as they grow older, a small fence will not keep children out.

-Turn off and unplug your exercise equipment when you are not using it.

-Some exercise machines can be folded and stored under beds or other compact places. If possible, take the time to store your exercise equipment in a safe place. This eliminates the possibility for children to climb and play on the equipment.

-Some exercise equipment has a safety key or cord that automatically turns the machine off when it is pulled. Find a way to remove or reposition this cord when you are not working out so that small hands cannot reach it.

-Don’t leave resistance bands or jump ropes hanging off the side of your exercise machine. Any hanging cords can pose a threat to your child.

-Don’t let your children play near the equipment when you are working out. But also remember to keep your children in sight.

-Don’t wear headphones if you are working out and your children are at home. You may not be able to hear them if they get close to the equipment. It is common for small children to come up behind their parent on a treadmill and get their hand or finger caught in the belt.

-Store weights in a place where your child cannot play with them.

-Be sure your stationary bike has a chain guard to prevent small fingers from getting caught.

-Try to time your workouts during your child’s naps, before they wake up in the morning, or after they go to sleep at night. This eliminates the need to worry if your child is getting too close to the exercise equipment or not.

-As your children get older, teach them the dangers of exercise equipment and the reasons why you insist that they don’t climb and play on the machines. If you choose to let your older child or teenager use your exercise equipment, do so with care and only under your supervision.

Sometimes, despite our best precautions, accidents still happen. Many times these accidents are no fault of our own. At the law offices of D. Hardison Wood, we have represented many people, both children and adults, who have suffered injuries due to malfunctioning or defective exercise machines. We are committed to protecting the legal rights of anyone who has been harmed by dangerous products. If you or your child have been injured, we’d like to help. Please call us today about your potential case.
 

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Graco Recall

Graco has recalled approximately 1.2 million Harmony High Chairs due to a fall risk. According to the bulletin posted by the CPSC

The screws holding the front legs of the high chair can loosen and fall out and/or the plastic bracket on the rear legs can crack causing the high chair to become unstable and tip over unexpectedly. This poses a fall hazard to children.

This particular chair was manufactured from 2003 through 2009, so it is very important for all those who have this type of chair check their model numbers. Check Here

If your child has been injured due to a defective product, please contact us to discuss your child's potential legal claim.

The LATCH System

Car seats have come a long way since the first sack and string models in 1898. It wasn’t until the 1930s that a car seat similar to today’s child restraint system was designed. In the 1960s and 1970s, more emphasis began to be put on child safety in vehicles and the importance of using car seats when traveling with children. And with car accidents being the number one killer of children, improvements are still needed.

In 1999, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system was established. This system is governed by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 225, making it possible for child restraint systems to be installed more effectively and easily, thereby increasing child safety. All new vehicles must now be LATCH equipped, as well as all new car seats.

The LATCH system is comprised of two lower anchors and one upper anchor in the vehicle. The two lower anchors are round, rod-like bars hidden in the seat cushion. The upper anchor is a ring-like device, attached to the back of the rear seat. On the CRS itself, you will find clips that hook or snap onto the lower anchors and a hook or clamp that attaches to the upper anchor. Once all three anchors are attached, the belts connected to each should be tightened for maximum safety.
 

For more information on the LATCH system, visit these websites:

For the LATCH system to be effective, it is imperative that the child restraint system be put in the vehicle correctly. Whether you are heading out on a long road trip with the family or just down the street to soccer practice, the safety of your child depends on a correctly installed car seat.

For information on how to correctly install your LATCH car seat, click here:
 

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/womenfamilies/articles/104581/article.html

http://www.research.chop.edu/programs/carseat/

http://www.tobio.info/passat/howtos/LATCH.pdf

http://www.ehow.com/video_4440673_latch-system-works-car-seats.html
 

If you are interested in finding out more about the NHTSA National Standardized Child Passenger Safety certification course, visit this website:

www.cpsboard.org/techmanual.htm

For car safety tips and other tips for traveling with children, please visit these websites, and share them with anyone who will be responsible for traveling with or transporting your children by motor vehicle.

www.safekids.org/tips/tips_car.htm

www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/travelsafetytips.cfm
 

If you have been affected by a faulty child seat or any other injury and would like to discuss your potential legal claim please contact our office at 1-877-829-7211.

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Booster Seat Safety

Car accidents are the greatest risk to a child’s life. Each year, 250,000 children are injured in car accidents in the US alone. Car accidents are reportedly the number one cause of death in children ranging from 2 to 14 years of age. 

Booster seats have proven to significantly reduce the number of car accident injuries and fatalities among children, and according to National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the numbers have been steadily declining since 1997. Correct installation and proper use of booster seats can help to reduce the numbers further, and keep our children safe.

In North Carolina, the law states that children must use booster seats until they are 8 years old and weigh at least 80 pounds. The penalty for not having your child properly restrained is $25. This, of course, is no comparison to the price that would be paid if a child were found unrestrained at the time of an accident.

The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law can be viewed here.

 

A short summary of the law can be viewed here.

 

For Frequently Asked Questions about the NC Child Passenger Safety Law, go here.

 

If your child has been injured in a car accident or as a result of a faulty booster seat, please call the law offices of D. Hardison Wood at 1-877-829-7211.

 

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Window Shade Recall

The CPSC issued ten recalls today involving window shades/roman shades/roll up shades. These recalls were prompted by the risk of strangulation to children. A repair kit is supposed to be available to those who have these products in their homes and you should request one immediately. The CPSC is recommending that you inspect your home and ensure that you do not have accesible cords from these shades in the front, on the side or back. DO NOT place a crib,child's bed or other furniture near these blinds. Make all loose cords completely inaccesible. Install devices to keep the cord taut. There have been 5 deaths and 16 near stranglations of children from these Roman shades since 2006 and 3 deaths from from roll-up blinds since 2001.

A list of the all the recalls is below:

1. Window Covering Safety Council Recalls to Repair All Roman and Roll-Up Blinds Due to Risk of Strangulation, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10073.html

2. Near Strangulations of Child Prompts Recall to Repair Roman Shades and Roll-Up Blinds by JCPenney, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10066.html

3. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roll-Up Blinds and Roman Shades by Walmart, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10067.html

4. Strangulation Death of a Child Prompts Recall to Repair Roman Shades by All Strong Industry, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10068.html

5. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roll-Up Blinds by Lotus & Windoware: Sold Exclusively at Ace Hardware and Big Lots, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10069.html

6. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Matchstick Roll-Up Shades by International Merchandise; Sold Exclusively at Big Lots, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10070.html

7. Near Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roman and Roller Shades Sold at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and PBTeens, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10071.html

8. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Roman Shades; Sold Exclusively at West Elm, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10072.html

9. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Roman Shades by Draper Inc., http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10074.html

10. Near Strangulation of Children Prompts Recall of Roman Shades by Louis Hornick & Co. Sold at Ross Stores, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10075.html
 

If your child has been injured due to a product defect, call our office immediately.

Even Flo Recall

Approximately 3728 Even Flo First Choice Infant Restraint systems, model 3604098, are being recalled. They were manufactured between January and September 2009. They fail to meet the federal requirements for labels on child restraint systems. As with all child restraints systems, there are required labels that must remain on the restraint seat always. Those labels must include information to register the seat, NHTSA information, and certification the seat complies with federal safety standards.

If your child has been injured due to a failed child restraint system, please contact our office to discuss your matter.

CPSC's Town Hall Meeting on Toy Safety

The CPSC held a town hall meeting in New York this week to discuss toy safety and the new federal regulations involving toys. Chairman Tenebaum is hoping that the new standards instituted this year will help parents, grandparents and others in their toy selections this holiday season. Some of the new regulations over the past year are:

* federal limits for lead in paint on children's toys dropped to 90 parts per million, which is among the lowest in the world;

* toys for children 12 and younger must now be tested and certified that they meet the new lead in paint limits;

* children's toys cannot be made or sold with more than 300 parts per million of total lead;

* children's toys cannot be made or sold with more than 0.1% of six prohibited phthalates;

* and most children's toys now fall under mandatory standards, instead of voluntary ones.
 

At the town hall meeting, some stats for the past two years were discussed.

So far in calendar year 2009, CPSC has had 38 toy recalls, which is down from 162 in 2008 and 148 in 2007. Toy recalls involving lead paint are also down. This year there has been 14 recalls involving lead, down from 63 in 2007 and 85 in 2008. CPSC attributes this decline to increased enforcement at the ports, cooperation with other nations, consumer awareness and education and compliance by the industry with new federal safety rules.

For 2008, the Commission has reports of 19 toy-related deaths and about 172,700 hospital emergency room treated toy-related injuries  to children under 15. Almost half of these injuries, approximately 82,300 were to children younger than 5 years of age. Most of the deaths were associated with drowning, motor vehicle involvement, or airway obstruction from a small toy or small part of a toy.
 

If your child has suffered an injury, please contact our office to discuss your potential legal matter. We can be reached toll-free 1-877-829-7211 or by email contact@hardisonwood.com.

Maclaren Strollers Recalled

Approximately one million Maclaren strollers have been recalled after 12 reports of children's finger tips being amputated on a hinge found on the strollers. The recall involves both the single and double umbrella strollers sold between 1999 and 2009.

The models involved are Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno, and Easy Traveller.

Should you have been injured by a product such as this, please contact our firm immediately to discuss your potential claim at 1-877-829-7211.

 

 

CPSC Recalls Wooden Playsets, Travel Mugs, Microwaves

The CPSC issued several recalls on November 5th.

Adventure Playsets recalled about 275,000 (n the US) wooden playsets. The plastic coated lumbar on the horizontal ladder (aka. the monkey bar/swing beam) can weaken over time due to the rotting whitewood thus resulting in a serious fall hazard.

Description: This recall involves wooden play sets with swings, slides and ladders. Each set has an overhead monkey bar ladder that acts as both the monkey bar and swing beam, and an end ladder coated with cranberry or green plastic. The instruction manual has the name "Adventure Playsets" and one of the following model numbers printed on the cover.

Durango 1-AP016 and 1- AP018

Yukon 1-AP052

Tacoma 1- AP017 and 1-AP051

El Dorado 1-AP016

Bellevue 1-AP048, and 1-AP012

Dakota 1- AP046

Sherwood 1-AP049

Sedona 1- AP002

Ventura 1-AP008

Madison 1- AP006 and 1-AP015

Belmont 1-AP003  

Note: The Bellevue,Tacoma and Durango swing sets were previously recalled due to detaching frames and a fall hazard.

Sold at: Walmart, Toys R Us, Academy Sports, Menards, and Mill stores nationwide, and online at Walmart.com, ToyRUs.com, Willygoat.com and through the DMSI catalog from January 2004 through December 2007 for between $300 and $600.

 

The Life is Good Company recalled approximately 15,000 Newbury travel mugs. They can become excessively hot and burn the users. There have already been three reports of excessively hot mugs and one suffered a burn to the hand.

SamsungT Over-the-range microwaves have been recalled due to a shock hazard.. This recall involves about 43,000 units. If an installation bolt comes into contact with an electrical component found inside the microwave, and the microwave is plugged into an ungrounded outlet, a shock hazard may present itself.

 

 

 

 

Tougher Braking Standards for Trucks

Trucks are involved in approximately 400,000 crashes each year according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. NHTSA announced that it is going to require tougher braking standards on large trucks. The standard will govern the distance within which a truck traveling at 60 mph must stop.

The new standard requires that a tractor-trailer traveling at 60 miles per hour come to a complete stop in 250 feet. The old standard required a complete stop within 355 feet.

The press release says this standard will begin with the 2012 model year vehicles.The newstandard will not apply to single unit trucks, trailers and buses but rather only to truck tractors.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and you would like to discuss it further, please call us 1-877-829-7211.

 

Bike Helmet Safety

Bike Noob, a blog written by a "biking newbie", has an interesting article on helmet safety and effectiveness over here entitled "Helmets - not as safe as they're cracked up to be?"

The article discusses a study by Dr. Keatinge, who is a member of the editorial board of the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation.  Apparently in Dr. Keatinge's review of the available literature on the efficacy of bike helmets, there is "[n]o clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets" showing they do any real good to the wearer in an accident.

In our course of representing numerous bicycle riders who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident while riding their bike, we have found that a good number of these riders have come across the same studies and usually have a done a good deal of research into the question of whether or not wearing a helmet is even worth the trouble.  Some of them, unfortunately, have chosen not to wear a helmet, and because the literature is inconclusive, one can hardly blame them.  We've even reviewed studies suggesting that the wearing of a bike helmet makes the rider statistically more likely to be involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.

Bike Noob ends the article with sage advice:

I’ve fallen three times in the last nine months. No serious injuries, but all three crashes were my fault. That’s a pretty good indicator that I’m likely to fall again. A helmet won’t save me from my own stupidity, carelessness, or inattention while riding, but it will improve the odds that my noggin won’t be damaged if I do go down.

We agree.  Though we don't have a statiscally significant sample of bike wrecks to draw from, in our experience, riders who have worn helmets walk away from crashes that riders who do not wear helmets never get up from.  On the flip, we'll look at the standard a little more closely.

Part 1203 of Title 16 of the CFRs is entitled "SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS" (note *pdf link).  This is a CPSC regulation, as they are the chief regulator for products like bicycle helmets and it includes a CPSC performance test in four areas: (a) peripheral vision, (b) positional stability, (c) dynamic strength, and the most important, (d) impact attenuation.

The impact attentuation test derives from SAE standard J211 - OCT88, covering the instrumentation required to adequately perform this test.  The impact attentuation test seeks compliance of the helmet with a "worst case scenario" and thus it is modified depending on the helmet type.  If the helmet fails this test it may not be sold as a CPSC approved helmet.

Not to get too labored with specifics, but the test is a drop test which simulates the impact a rider would expect to receive traveling around 14mph and falling from the bike.  In addition, the test impacts different types of anvils to simulate different road conditions, including the dreaded "curb anvil" which simulates a rider falling onto a curb head first.

All impacts must fall within the range of force thresholds that are below the generally accepted head injury thresholds.  Moreover, a series of tests is done to ensure that the helmets perform routinely and consistently.  Thus the test provides for real world, foreseeable accidents, where without the device, the rider would be subject to forces on their skull above commonly accepted injury thresholds, and consequently with the device, the rider is not subject to the same force levels.

This is not to say that you can't be injured while riding a bicycle with a helmet.  But one of the most common accident situations is a low speed fall from a bike onto a curb or roadway, and without a helmet these injuries can be serious, and sometimes deadly.  This test helps ensure that the helmet can withstand this easily foreseeable accident and reduce the probability or likelihood of injury by a significant amount.

As the purpose of the rule states: the purpose and basis of this standard is to reduce the likelihood
of serious injury and death to bicyclists resulting from impacts to the head
.

In other words, not even the CPSC thinks wearing a CPSC approved bicycle helmet will "prevent" head injury.  But it is proven that helmets which keep injurious forces from reaching the wearer's head in foreseeable accidents will make the ride "more safe".  And that is all, at the end of the day, we can ask for... making an enjoyable activity "more safe" by the wearing of a light, non-uncomfortable safety device.

Or as Bike Noob concluded: I for one am going to strap on my $35 CPSC-certified helmet and keep riding.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident while riding their bicycle, please consider contacting the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood in Cary, North Carolina.  We have handled a number of bicycle injuries and accidents and have even successfully concluded several helmet defect cases and may be able to assist you in protecting your legal rights.  Our contact page is here.

MADD CEO tapped to head NHTSA

President Obama has asked Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) CEO, Charles Hurley to be the next administrator of NHTSA. The White House said that in addition to is work on drunk driving issues, Hurley has also an extensive background working on air bag, seat belt teen driving and child passenger safety  issues. All of which are very near and dear to our law firm. We focus on all areas of products liability, including child safety, air bag non deployment, car fires, roof crush, roll overs, and more.

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has already is looking to the new administrator and NHTSA to address roof crush issues sooner rather than later.

The current roof standard has been in place since 1973, before SUVs were a common mode of consumer transportation. The roof crush standard addresses the safety of vehicles’ roofs to withstand pressure when involved in rollover accidents.

NHTSA was required to deliver a roof crush standard to Congress by July 1, 2008, but was ordered by Congress to strengthen their proposed rule because it did not significantly reduce loss of life and prevent injury.  NHTSA asked for an extension until December 15, 2008, and then revised the date for issuing the final rule to April 30, 2009.

 

Peanut Recalls and Salmonella

The fall out from the peanut and peanut product recalls seems to keep growing each day. Apparently there has been a link found between the Georgia company involved with the nationwide salmonella outbreak and schools in three states.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department shipped possibly contaminated peanut butter and other foods to schools in at least three states under a contract with the Georgia company blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

The government abruptly suspended all business with the company Thursday, as officials defended their efforts to halt the outbreak that has sickened at least 575 people in 43 states. At least eight have died. It's become one of the largest food recalls ever, including more than 1,300 products.

The potentially contaminated products went to school free lunch programs in California, Minnesota and Idaho in 2007, the Department of Agriculture said Friday. Peanut butter and roasted peanuts processed by the Peanut Corp. of America were sent to the schools.

 

In addition, WRAL recently reported that the Cary, NC based Kellogg Co.'s Austin Quality Foods has been linked to the Salmonella issues.

Tests have determined that one sample of peanut butter paste from a Cary cracker factory contains the same strain of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people nationwide in recent weeks, officials said Monday.

Inspectors with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services took 50 samples from the Kellogg Co.'s Austin Quality Foods plant in Cary, which uses peanut butter from the Georgia plant. All but one tested negative for salmonella.

The tainted sample came from a Sept. 19 peanut butter shipment, which should help federal investigators pinpoint the time frame of the contamination at the Georgia plant, said Joe Reardon, food and drug protection director for the department.

Unfortunately as each day passes, it seems there are additional product recalls indicating how wide spread the contamination really is. If you have been adversely affected, and would like to discuss your matter, please contact our office at 919-677-0144.

Children's Product Safety Laws Take Effect

Beginning February 10, 2009, children's products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) lead even if they were manufactured before this date. The total lead limit will drop again August 14, 2009 to 300 ppm.

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties. For additional information visit www.cpsc.gov

 

This new law was signed in August of 2008, and it almost made it illegal to see recalled products. If a reseller attempts to sell a recalled product he/she can held liable for both criminal or civil penalties.

These new regulations can be very confusing. The CPSC added this notice on January 30, 2009.

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children's products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

The stay does not apply to:

    • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children's products subject to:
    • Certification requirements applicable to ATV's manufactured after April 13, 2009.
    • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and
    • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children's garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

If you have a child child safety concern and believe your child's legal rights may have violated, feel free to contact us to discuss your matter.

 

Bicycle Recall

With gas prices as high as they are, many people have begun riding bicycles. However, today the US Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 9,500 electra bicycles.

Hazard: The interior alignment tabs of the bicycle’s chainguard can be pushed against the chain causing it to derail, which poses a risk of injury to riders.

Incidents/Injuries: Electra has received four reports of the chainguard derailing the chain, including one report of minor cuts and abrasion from a fall.

The entire recall notice can be read here.

If you have been a victim of a products defect, and believe we may be able to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Pool Drain Issues

Awhile ago we had blogged about pool drains and the serious safety issues involving the drains and children. There are new safety standards regarding these drains. According to an article today, the president, David Lionetti, of Shoreline Pools in Connecticut has been charged with manslaughter after a 6 year-old boy drowned following being sucked into the drain. The police state that he:
"recklessly caused the death" of Zachary Cohn by failing to have his company install mandated safety devices in the pool the company built for the boy's family. Police alleged the safety devices would have prevented the boy's death.
In addition, the child's family has filed their own civil suit, alleges that
the pool violated safety code requirements designed in response to the rash of similar cases around the country.
The article can be read here. Pool drains can be a serious hazard. If you have been adversely affected and would like to speak about your matter, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Crib Recall

About 320,000 Jardine Cribs sold at Babies R Us have been recalled according to an announcement by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the  press release, the cribs' slats and spindles can  break  causing a gap which may lead to  entrapment or  strangulation of babies.There are several models included. The press release can  be read here.

Pool and Spa Drains

I was recently watching a television segment on the news regarding pool and spa drains. The story discussed how children can become entrapped in the drains, causing their intestines to essentially be sucked out due to the force of the drains. It is absolutely shocking the enormous injuries these old-styled drains can cause and the enormous strength they have.

Tje CPSC released a report and statement on May 21, 2008.
A new federal pool and spa safety law was signed by the President on December 19, 2007. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires that by December 19, 2008, all public pools and spas have safety drain covers, and in certain circumstances, an anti-entrapment system. The goal of the law is to improve the safety of all pools and spas by increasing the use of layers of protection and promoting uninterrupted supervision to prevent child drownings and entrapments.
The entire report may be read here.

Toy Cell Phone Recalled

CPSC announced that  Kids Station Toys has recalled about 1 million chit and chat toy cell phones. The toy can break apart causing a serious choking hazard for children. It should be noted that the phones with a visible screw on the hinge are not included. Read the notice here.

If you or your family have been negatively affected by a defective product and would like to discuss your matter please contact us at 1-877-829-7211.

Toyota Highlander Recall

Seat belts can save your life if they work. 90,000 2008 Toyota Highlanders and Toyota Highlander hybrids are being recalled due to the fact that the seat belts' locking mechanisms failing.
The locking mechanism on the seat belts apparently cannot secure properly when certain rear-facing child safety seats are used, which could cause the child seats to move, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on Friday. Read More
If you have been affected by a seat belt failure or any other mechanism defect, please report it the NHTSA. If our law firm can be of  any assistance please do not hesitate to  contact us.




Magnet Ingestion

The CPSC put out a safety alert on the  harmful  results form ingesting magnets. Through  our child safety litigation work, we have learned of the many hazards of magnetic toys. Magnets, not just those  found in  toys, can be a real danger. Read the  safety alert here.

Kyle David Miller Foundation - Car Seat Safety

Our children and their  safety is something about which we care deeply. That is why our law firm involves itself in various types of litigation involving child safety. Awhile back we were touched by a video we saw on youtube about a young boy, Kyle David Miller (see here). He unfortunately was killed in a car crash. He was not in a five point harness, but rather a booster seat which utilized the car's seat belt. When we personally saw the video, our family was driven to find a booster seat for our children that had a five point harness. We realized that the booster seat we were using, which used our car's seat belt, was not securing our children the way they needed. We have since learned that there has been a foundation set up in  memory of Kyle which collects money in order to buy 5 point harness seats for children up to 80 lbs. who otherwise would not have access to them. Check  out the video and website to learn more  about the foundation. 

GM Fires

We have been hearing about and have been contacted about  car fires. Now it appears the government is investigating fires in certain GM SUVs.
The government is investigating reports of engine fires in General Motors’ full-size sport utility vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received two reports of fires on 2007 model year Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs.
Both reports allege that the vehicles were parked in a home garage with the engine shut off when the fires occurred, causing significant property damage.
The investigation, which also includes the 2007 GMC Yukon SUV, involves about 423,000 SUVs. Read the article

ATV Stats

It seems that  555 people, which includes over 100 children, died in all terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents in 2006. Officials have said that they expect the number to increase as more hospitals and coroners report information. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also published in their annual report that and additional 146,600 people have been treated in emergency rooms for their  ATV-related injuries of which more than a quarter were children.
Consumer groups and parents who have lost children in crashes have complained for years about the safety of the popular off-road vehicles.
The industry contends it's not the ATV but the driver that's the problem. "ATVs have never been shown to be an unsafe product, but there have been bad decisions made by people sitting on the seat," said Mike Mount, a spokesman for the California-based Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

Furniture Fires

Something we may not link commonly link together are upholstered furniture and home fires. However, home fires involving upholstered furniture can spread more quickly. The CPSC took action on this very fact and issued the following statement:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) on a new mandatory standard to address residential upholstered furniture fires.

The goal of the proposed standard is to prevent ignition or slow the spread and intensity of upholstered furniture fires. These fires cost the U.S. about $1.6 billion each year. CPSC staff estimates the proposed standard, once fully effective, would prevent an estimated 100 deaths and 130 injuries every year.

“Fires involving upholstered furniture are a leading cause of fire-related deaths in U.S. homes,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “Stopping a furniture fire in its tracks or slowing its spread would buy consumers precious time to get out of their homes.”

Under the proposal, manufacturers could meet the performance standard by using smolder-resistant cover fabrics or interior fire resistant barriers to protect the furniture’s internal filling material which is the primary fuel in an upholstered furniture fire.

The CPSC’s objective is to reduce the fire risk in upholstered furniture without requiring the use of fire retardant chemicals. Manufacturers will not be required to use chemicals to meet the proposed standard. In its environmental assessment, CPSC staff projects most manufacturers and importers would likely choose options that do not involve fire- retardants in fabrics or filling materials.

“CPSC is now on track to develop a mandatory safety rule that will save lives and protect consumers,” added Acting Chairman Nord.

An NPR is the second step in the agency’s three step rulemaking process.

Read More

Kids and Cars Safety Bill

Read about Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2007 here.

For  additional  information  you can also visit the kids  and cars website.

Safety bills like this may start the  process of saving children  from becoming victims of mistaken backovers and other  car related fatalities.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Changes to the motorcycle helmet law go into  effect on  January 1, 2008 in North Carolina which offer better specification on the type of helmet that a motorcyclist should  wear.

The new law also clarifies that the helmet must be properly secured on the head using a strap so that it will stay on in the event of a crash.

Motorcycle helmets are considered legally compliant if they meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, which requires helmets to have a firm inner liner of polystyrene foam that is about one-inch thick.

Compliant motorcycle safety helmets will also carry the symbol “DOT,” for U.S. Department of Transportation, permanently installed by the manufacturer on the back of the helmet, as well as a permanently attached manufacturer’s label on the interior of the helmet. Novelty-type helmets are not compliant with FMVSS-218.
To identify helmets that are compliant with FMVSS-218, motorcyclists can visit the following page for  more  information.

Inflatable Jacket

So we know that when air bags work they can save lives...so how about an inflatable jacket for motorcyclists?  Apparently, a motorcyclist was wearing such a jacket while riding his motorcycle.  When it crashed, his jacket inflated, worked like an airbag and helped save his life! 
Joseph McPhatter, of Randallstown, was injured in a crash on Interstate 83 after being cut off by another motorist in September. According to police, McPhatter was ejected 100 feet, hitting the ground at an impact rate of 140 mph.Police said that McPhatter might have been severely injured had it not been for the Impact Jacket he was wearing -- a jacket that inflates like an air bag when a motorcyclist is in an wreck. Read the whole story

Toy recalls

Here we are  again discussing the numerous toy recalls and child items that have occurred over the past few  weeks.  The Family Dollar Store recalled Halloween pails due to  unsafe levels of lead paint. Jo-Ann stores recalled children's toy garden tools also due to the  unsafe levels of lead paint. Fisher Price  has now added the Go Diego Go boats to their recall list, again  due to the  unsafe levels of lead paint.  Dollar Tree stores recalled children's jewelry for....yes....lead paint hazards. Good grief...with the number of children's items that have been placed in the marketplace and have needed to be recalled due  to safety issues... it is just a  matter of time before we start to really  learn the number of children  affected whether through actual toy litigation or other means. But something  needs to be done.  It is nearly impossible to buy a child a toy without worrying if somehow the product you just purchased contains unsafe levels of lead, or  to fear that somehow it was a toy that was actually included in the recall but happened to somehow  miss being pulled from the shelf for some reason.  It is a terrible feeling as a parent to constantly  be  unsure if what you are giving your child could in fact hurt them. Brands that were once "trusted" aren't any longer. It is truly unnerving.

Car Seat vs. Booster Seat

Recently, I overheard a conversation which reminded me about the importance of this question of car seat versus a booster seat.  As I waited for my daughter during one of her after school activities I heard  a group of mothers and fathers discussing the fact that they were switching their children to the booster seats that use the car's seat belt rather than a five  point harness.  They were discussing that this was a change they needed to make because when they pick their children up from school through the car  pool lane, it is  too difficult to find a  place to park the car, get out and buckle their children into their five point harnessed car seats.  (The car pool lane is utilized by most preschools and schools where we live.  Basically, the  parents line up in their vehicles, and the children are called up as their  parent's vehicle approaches.  The child gets in and the parent drives off).  They were talking about how much easier it  is  now that their children can get in and  buckle themselves.  We had thought the same  thing, putting  our daughter in one of those boosters, until we  learned about the number of children who are either injured or die in crashes because they slipped out of their booster seat/seat belt because, those  lap/shoulder belts in the cars (the  ones used in conjunction with the booster seats) are made for people with  a minimum weight  of 80-100lbs. We switched back to a booster  seat with a five point harness. We just taught our daughter how to buckle herself into her harness.  So we  can go through the  car pool lane  with no  issue. It truly is a huge safety issue that parents should be aware of before switching car seats. The following video is  just  another reminder:

Starbucks Cups Recalled

From toys to cups....
The US Consumer Product  Safety Commission  issued  a  press release today involving children's plastic cups form Starbucks.

Hazard: If the cup is dropped, the colorful face on the cup can break off and leave small parts or sharp exposed edges that can pose a choking or laceration hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: Starbucks has received seven reports of the cups breaking, including two reports in which a child began to choke on a broken piece. No injuries have been reported.

Read the  whole release here

Kolcraft Recall-Play Yard

Today the US  Consumer  Product Safety Commission announced a recall  involving Kolcraft play yards after a 10 month old died.
CPSC received a report of a 10-month old boy who strangled on the changing table’s restraint strap that was hanging down into Kolcraft’s “Sesame Beginnings” Travel Play Yard where the child was located.
These play yards were sold from 2001 to 2007. What is terribly frightening is to speculate the number of households  that  have these play yards  since they have been on the market for  several years.  I  know our household has one, as do "the grandparents".  Please read the announcement here and make  sure if you have one,  you  remove the  changing  pad/cradle area when your child is  in the  play yard.

Crib Recall

Approximately 1 million simplicity  cribs were recalled earlier this week.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today a voluntary recall with Simplicity Inc., of Reading, Pa., of about 1 million cribs. The drop-side can detach from the crib, which can create a dangerous gap and lead to the entrapment and suffocation of infants. CPSC is aware of two deaths in Simplicity manufactured cribs with older style hardware, including a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child, where the drop-side was installed upside down. CPSC is also aware of seven infant entrapments and 55 incidents in these cribs.

What is most frustrating about this recall  to  me, is that the first death occurred over  two and a half years ago. It appears that two deaths occurred with older hardware, and a third death  has  now occurred with  the  newer hardware.  The question arises...what took so long to have this investigated? Read the announcement here.

Daimlerchrysler Recall

Daimlerchrysler issued a recall for certain 2007 Doge Rams.

Component: POWER TRAIN:DRIVELINE:DRIVESHAFT
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 1498
Summary:
 ON CERTAIN TWO WHEEL DRIVE TRUCKS EQUIPPED WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS, THE FRONT DRIVESHAFT YOKE MAY BREAK UNDER CERTAIN DRIVING CONDITIONS.
Consequence:
 THIS COULD RESULT IN A LOSS OF VEHICLE CONTROL AND CAUSE A CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
Remedy:
 DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE DRIVESHAFT FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING SEPTEMBER 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DAIMLERCHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.
Notes:
 DAIMLERCHRYSLER RECALL NO. G32. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.